Tourism Development: Issues for Historic Walled Towns
This paper discusses issues in tourism development and visitor management in historic walled towns. Historic towns and walled towns in particular, attract tourists that enjoy the preserved medieval ambience, architecture and picturesque streets. Tourism has an impact on economic and social life as well as on the urban and natural environment. Walled towns and cities with their obvious barriers exemplify and crystallise issues, challenges, and opportunities critical to the development of tourism. A research designed to identify issues related to tourism development and visitor management in walled towns included an extensive questionnaire and two workshops. Eight European historic/ walled towns were included in the research: Chester (United Kingdom), Piran (Slovenia), ’s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Valetta (Malta), Arabarri (Spain), Lucca (Italy), Lörrach (Germany), and Verona (Italy). The questionnaire was used to identify the tourism profile of participating towns as well as the issues and concerns related to tourism development. Participating towns discussed their concerns and exchanged their views and good practices at two workshops. Identified issues include providing adequate tourist information, involvement of residents in tourism development, development of products to decrease seasonality, and concentration of tourism demand. The paper presents good practices and suggests solutions in solving tourism related issues in historic walled towns.
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